Award Winning Actress, New York Times Bestselling Author, Director, Philanthropist and Inspiration to Women Appears Saturday at 1:00
At the age of two, Melissa Gilbert made her on-air debut modeling baby clothes and continued with over 32 television commercials until 1973, when the nine-year-old joined the cast of "Little House on the Prairie," continuing with the number one rated series for 10 years.
Over the years, Gilbert has continued to bring powerful stories to the small screen, starting at age fourteen with the Emmy award-winning "The Miracle Worker," and subsequently starred in "The Diary of Anne Frank," "Splendor in the Grass," "Family Secrets" and "Choices of the Heart".
She starred in "Christmas in My Hometown" where CBS had their highest ratings ever , as well as the CBS drama "Cries from the Heart". She's also starred in "Seduction in a Small Town" and "Childhood Sweetheart" and "Jackie Collins' Hollywood Wives: The New Generation" and the highly rated movie "Thicker than Water" along with the acclaimed series "Nip'Tuck".
She made her off-Broadway debut as a star of "A Shayna Maidel," earning an Outer Critic's Circle Award for Best Actress and has also starred in such productions as "The Miracle Worker," "The Glass Menagerie," "Bus Stop" and most recently "Love Letters" .
Having fully outgrown the "Half-Pint" image of her "Little House" youth, Melissa has proven herself a successful adult actress and director.
Melissa shared her story of growing up in front of the cameras, dealing with a complicated family, overcoming addictions, and how she finally learned to move on in her New York Time's bestselling memoir, Prairie Tale.
In addition to her acting, directing and writing career, Gilbert served two terms as the President of Screen Actors Guild and has was one of Hollywood Reporter's "Women of the Year" for three consecutive years, and most recently honored with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's Lifetime Achievement Award. Melissa was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, becoming the youngest recipient of such an honor.
An avid philanthropist, Melissa is the President of the Board of Directors for the Children's Hospice and palliative Care Coalition, and recently became the first-ever national spokesperson for The Partnership at Drugfree.org. Through her work with the Children's Hospice, Melissa has dedicated her life to ensuring that all chronically and terminally ill children get to live and die with the gentleness, dignity and grace they deserve. As a devoted mother to her children and having had her own struggles with sobriety, Melissa's work with Drugfree.org allows her to provide parents with help and resources to prevent intervene in and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children.
Don't Miss Melissa Gilbert on the Main Stage on Saturday at 1:00.